Tibouchina urvilleana 2

My previous post was about our Wild Tibouchina and the genus  it refers to. Besides Dissotis canescens, we also have several other rather similar herby shrubs in our part of the world; one in particular is mentioned as a Haenertsburg local, so I must keep my eyes open for it. I know I’ve seen another Dissotis at some stage, but I can not recall much detail: it was smaller and denser, and so I suspect it was D. debilis, but D. princeps is the one to find! Apparently there are a total of ten species in four genera from the MELASTOMATACEAE family indigenous to South Africa.

Masha mentions growing Tibouchina urvilleana  from Brazil in her comment on my blog; this is what I wish to share in this post. I grow it too, but it gets frosted, often before making even one flower where it is currently planted. However I took cuttings and this year they are flowering away in the nursery which is slightly warmer and sunnier. I shall plant them up against the west facing gable of the guest bedroom. Today I set off to photograph them in the nursery. Their lovely leaves are really reason enough to grow them, and the purple-blue flower in its red cup is  as saturated a colour as is my Dissotis… 

Tibouchina urvilleana


  1. These pictures are so beautiful, I agree, this plant is very colorful, leaves and flowers. I was surprised it froze for you, and had to go and re-read your profile. It must be the elevation? Here it is marginally frost-tender, and I am hoping my young plant will develop enough hard wood in the next few years not to be in danger of freezing to the ground.

    Thank you for mentioning me in your post. I am flattered:-).

    • Hi Masha! I describe my garden as being ‘in the bottom of a valley on the top of a mountain’ – my normal winter nights are -1C, or just under freezing for a few hours as a rule. But a few hundred meters higher up there is seldom frost, and 5km away at a lower altitude the minimum would seldom drop below +5 degrees. Every winter I have a few nights below -5C, which is an important hardiness cut-off point, and so I often lose plants.

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